From the Desk of VPWA Executive Director on the United Nations Volunteers award

Post date: Dec 04, 2010 4:13:4 PM

Today, I share with you a great honor bestowed on VPWA by the United Nations for our efforts to tap into the competence and skills of volunteers from around the world in working to improve lives and building a world of peace and development to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a time bound target of the nations of the world to end poverty.

This year, United Nations awarded ten organizations on the surface of the earth along with their volunteers for their 'outstanding' contribution to human development.

In 2009, while I was on a massive advocacy on Malaria Eradication in Ghana and West Africa, I discovered that, there was not a single platform where civil societies could express their views without going through censoring within the mainstream media. The gap presented it self with an opportunity to set-up a project that will focus on the United Nations Millennium Development Goal 8 of developing a global partnership for development.

As it is with VPWA, the opportunity was posted through the United Nations Online Volunteer Program and we had the privilege of receiving over twenty (20) IT experts from around the world applying to develop the online news portal NGO News Africa. Rui Oliveria, a retiree with over 40 years experience in Information Technology from Portugal was chosen to work with VPWA to develop the online news portal which has now come to be a household name in Africa within the NGO circles. The website ( which received average visitors of 15,000 visitors per month and subscriber base of 2000 by April 2010 when we nominated Rui for the award now has over 40,000 visitors per month with subscriber base of 6,250.

I am proud to say that; Rui Oliveria exhibited high competence and continues to work with VPWA, not only on NGO News Africa but on many different other projects since 2009 till date. He is an extremely loyal volunteer who will go all length to do what is good for VPWA. His sacrifice was recognized by VPWA Board of Directors as we decided to nominate him this year for this prestigious award and rightly so, the expert jury that sat on the hundreds of thousands of nominations, decided on Rui Oliveira and VPWA among nine other organization on the globe to receive today's award.

We are extremely grateful to the United Nations for recognizing our organization and the work of the volunteers we engage from around the world both on-site and online.

We share this award with all of you!

God bless you!

Hayford Siaw

Executive Director